This is the first book by John Green that I’ve ever read, and now I’m definitely excited and interested in reading the rest of his books. I’ve heard that other people have compared it to his other books and said that he repeated things, or used clichés, but I have nothing to compare it to apart form the only other cancer books I’ve read.
And of the ones that I have read (which is not many), Iprefer “The Fault in Our Stars” by far! Because it’s the funniest yet also the most heartbreaking.
Hazel has lung cancer. She meets Augustus in a cancer help group. Awesomeness.
Hazel was awesome. Augustus was awesome. Isaac was awesome. All the other characters were also awesome. I just loved them all, maybe because they were so well developed, and I just loved the tone and humour of the book. An example would be the opening lines of the book.
“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)”
I loved her dry sense of humour, and blunt look at life. How she was so interesting and outspoken. There are so many things that I want to quote her on, but I’ll leave those for later. I just love Hazel, and I love Augustus for having the same way of thinking that she does. And so does Issac, in a way, which is probably why they all get on so well together. The plot was great, and all the conversations were perfect. I loved all the dialogue and all the scenes. There was never one part of the book where I felt that it could have been left out or improved. I just loved every single part.
I can’t think of any.
This is weird.
I would probably have some criticisms if I’d read other John Green books, but I haven’t.
Actually, I do have one criticism. I wish the book was way longer. Like maybe a few more hundred pages, just because I loved it so much and wanted to find out what happened to everyone. I got so emotionally invested that when it just ended, I felt so empty inside. I wanted to know so badly what happened.
Aw, man, this is going to be so hard. There are literally so many quotes I want here. This is like the opposite of what happened to me in the Host, I just want to include 50 quotes, each of them about a page. Hmmmm… Let’s see…
Oh god, there are too many! HOW DO I DECIDE?!?!??!
(oh, to understand this, you have to know that Augustus also has cancer, and Isaac goes blind) Ok, here we go.
- “I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.)”
- “It’s just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.’
‘Right, it’s primarily his hotness,’ I said.
‘It can be sort of blinding,’ he said.
‘It actually did blind our friend Isaac,’ I said.
‘Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?’
‘It is my burden, this beautiful face.’
‘Not to mention your body.’
‘Seriously, don’t even get me started on my hot bod. You don’t want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace’s breath away,’ he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.
- “I’ve gotten really hot since you went blind.”
- “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
And of course there is the one where Augustus wanted to see what his funeral would be like if he died. This one is probably my favourite. (This might be a slight spoiler)
- “Augustus Waters was a self-aggrandizing bastard. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should’ve gotten more.
”Seventeen,’ Gus corrected.
‘I’m assuming you’ve got some time, you interrupting bastard.
‘I’m telling you,’ Isaac continued, ‘Augustus Waters talked so much that he’d interrupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness.
‘But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.’ “
So, a definite 5 shuriken stars. It’s not for those who want a constant, moving, fast-paced fantasy or science fiction plot. The book isn’t fast paced, but it always keeps you interested and reading as you become so attached to the characters and the fantastic narrative and dialogue just keeps your eyes glued to the page.